Friday, August 29, 2008

This Election Has Never Been About Me

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Have you ever seen Eminem's signature movie 8-Mile? You know the part at the end where B-Rabbit causes his freestyle opponent to choke by rippin and spittin all of Poppa Doc's material first?

That's what happened last night at the DNC. Barack Obama took McCain and his World Class Wrecking Crew to task for every failed decision, every idiotic piece rhetoric and every fear-mongering, misleading tactic that they have pulled and to cap it all, he made it plain that John McCain may care about America, but he's sadly clueless about the people who truly make up America.

Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans; I just think he doesn't know.

Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under $5 million a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies, but not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It's not because John McCain doesn't care; it's because John McCain doesn't get it.
Barack Obama made a lot of promises last night: about healthcare, taxes, energy policy, education and the future of America in what is now a global economy. But he did not promise that he would accomplish this by Obama magic. To follow Barack Obama is to commit yourself to digging deep and working hard - and working together:

America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices. And Democrats, as well as Republicans, will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past, for part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose, and that's what we have to restore.
Finally, for all of us, for anyone of any race, color, creed, political party or hyphenated nationality; for anyone who keeps spouting the diatribe of history in the making, Barack Obama reminded his detractors of something that his supporters would also do well to keep in mind:

I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the naysayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me; it's about you.
Obama is a well-spoken man but what else would you expect of a Harvard educated gentleman who has spent a life in public service? That's really beside the point. He speaks well because he speaks truth and the unmistakable ring of veracity has been missing from the White House for well over 8 years starting with Bill Clinton's fabrication and ending with the much more serious charge of the lies told to bring us into war and mismanagement and theft that have flattened the American economy.

Truth and a need to move on. Obama promises that we do not have to face the future as Dick Cheney would have us - with policies rooted in the past, cowering in our separate corners with fear of each other and of our government - waiting for the NSA, the KKK, the sherriff with foreclosure papers, the soldiers at your door to tell you that your love one has given their all for their country and sorry, so sorry for your loss.

A vote for Obama requires a faith in the future that Dick Cheney and George Sr. do not want the average American citizen to have. They do not merely want to keep wealth and power to themselves, they would rob us of our Audacity to Hope.

You know, this country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

Instead, it is that American spirit, that American promise, that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night and a promise that you make to yours, a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west, a promise that led workers to picket lines and women to reach for the ballot.

And it is that promise that, 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustrations of so many dreams deferred.

But what the people heard instead -- people of every creed and color, from every walk of life -- is that, in America, our destiny is inextricably linked, that together our dreams can be one.

"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

America, we cannot turn back...

... not with so much work to be done; not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for; not with an economy to fix, and cities to rebuild, and farms to save; not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend.

America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone.

At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise, that American promise, and in the words of scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

1 comment:

  1. Amen and can I get a witness. (In fact, a majority of witnesses...)


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